Role of ivy in determining the attractiveness of the Blackbird Turdus merula territory

Pruscini F., Morelli F., Sisti D., Rocchi M.B., Santolini R.

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The quality of the territories of breeding bird species is often analyzed by considering the reproductive success of breeding pairs. In this study we propose an approach that examines not the territorial quality, but what is interpreted as attractive by Blackbird Turdus merula in its territory. This aspect was studied using territorial songs as indicators of territorial-index, considering the importance that songs have in terms of female attraction and male genetic quality. Through a multiple regression model, the relationship between this parameter and some structural features and types of the vegetation is studied: the only variable which is significantly and strongly related to the average number of songs is the abundance of ivy on trunks. This result is discussed considering the ecological role that ivy plays in determining the highest attractivity in Blackbird territory.